Mohammed al-Rimawi, 27, has been on hunger strike for 12 days in Israeli occupation prisons, while his father, Nimer al-Rimawi, 54, was seized on Sunday, 29 July by Israeli occupation forces near Ramallah. The younger Rimawi is held under interrogation at the Ashkelon interrogation center. His detention was just extended for another eight days to continue his interrogation.
A Palestinian lawyer with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said that the arrest of Rimawi’s father was part of the harsh campaign of pressure exerted against the hunger striker and attempt to force him to end his strike. He has been jailed since 19 July, when he was arrested when summoned to meet with the Israeli occupation intelligence. A former prisoner, he was jailed for three years and was only released six months ago.
Rimawi’s hunger strike joins that of Hassan Shokeh, from Bethlehem, who has been on hunger strike for nearly two months. His health condition has continued to deteriorate as he is held in isolation in the Ramle prison clinic; he must use a wheelchair to move around and is in constant pain, according to the most recent reports from his lawyer. Surviving only on water, he is repeatedly vomiting the liquid. He has been transferred on multiple occasions to Israeli hospitals due to his severe health crisis.
Shokeh has conducted a hunger strike before; he has been detained since 28 August 2017, only one month after he was released from his previous imprisonment without charge or trial. He ended his 35-day hunger strike that he launched upon his arrest with an agreement to transfer his case to the military courts. However, after his sentence expired in June 2018, he was once again ordered jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention. He is demanding his freedom.
Also on hunger strike are Anas Shadid, Basem Abidu and Dirar Abu Manshar, all from al-Khalil. Mahmoud Ayyad suspended his strike after an agreement to finalize his administrative detention order. Shadid, 21, is on his third hunger strike in two years against imprisonment without charge or trial. He has refused food for 11 days and was transferred from Ofer prison to isolation in Hadarim prison. He launched his strike when his administrative detention was renewed once more in June 2018; he has been jailed since June 2017. He was re-arrested shortly after winning his release from administrative detention through an 85-day hunger strike.
Basem Abidu, 47, from al-Khalil, has also been on strike for 11 days against his administrative detention order. He has been jailed since 30 May and was ordered to four months imprisonment without charge or trial. On 26 July, Abu Manshar, 39, joined the strike in protest of his own imprisonment without charge or trial; he has been jailed since June 2017 and his administrative detention order was recently extended once more for the third time. He has spent over 8 years in prison, including multiple terms of administrative detention.
Out of the 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, 450 are held without charge or trial under administrative detention orders. These orders are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed under these orders. Administrative detention was first imported to Palestine by the British colonial mandate before being adopted by the Zionist occupation.
Since February of this year, all of the Palestinian prisoners held without charge or trial have boycotted the military courts that rubber-stamp their administrative detention orders. The ongoing hunger strikes among Palestinian prisoners jailed without charge or trial are part of the campaign to bring administrative detention to an end.